Heartstopper // Book Review

Synopsis
Charlie and Nick are at the same school, but they’ve never met … until one day when they’re made to sit together. They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and Nick is more interested in Charlie than either of them realized.


If you’re in the mood for a cute male/male romance, then look no further. This is the first book in a graphic novel series. It follows two teenage boys that end up falling for each other. They start off as friends, but their relationship continues to grow throughout the story. You can see their attraction growing right before your eyes.

The book is fairly lighthearted, but it slightly touches on consent. Charlie is an openly gay over-thinker, which was fun to read about. He is likable, and I could see why Nick was drawn to him. Nick is a rugby-player with a kind heart. Honestly, him and Charlie make an unlikely pair, but one that fits together nicely.

Sexual confusion is a part of the plot, since Nick is unsure about his feelings for Charlie. Being someone who has never been attracted to boys, he doesn’t understand this newfound connection. He even goes as far to search if he’s gay on Google. Let’s me be completely transparent here –  Google can tell you a lot of things, but not how you feel about somebody else. That part is up to you.

“You can’t tell whether people are gay by what they look like. And gay or straight aren’t the only two options.”

Another great point the story makes, is that you don’t need to put a label on yourself.  But it’s  still okay to label yourself anyway. These days, the focus is on telling people that they don’t need labels, which is amazing. Still, we should make the same effort to let others know that it’s fine to define yourself and your relationship. If you want to, that is

The book talks about the important issues, but in such a fun and easy going way, which is exactly what young people need. They don’t make them a huge focus in the story, but just enough to get the point across.

The is a fast read and a easy one as well. Before you know it you’re at the last page. Alice Osmen has a way of drawing you in with her writing and storytelling. Her book ‘Radio Silence’ is just as amazing. The ending of this book makes you want to keep reading Charlie and Nick’s story.

Overall, I understand all the hype behind these books. And, I hear the Netflix series adaptation is wonderful. However, I am not the biggest graphic novel fan, but the book was so fast paced that I will most likely finish the series. In the comments, let me know what you thought of Charlie and Nick’s love story. As always, you can support my blog by giving it a follow.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Horrid // Book Review

Author: Katrina Leno
Published: 2020
Genre: YA/Thriller
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Synopsis
From the author of ‘You Must Not Miss’ comes a haunting contemporary horror novel that explores themes of mental illness, rage, and grief, twisted with spine-chilling elements of Stephen King and Agatha Christie.


This book was creepy, interesting, and shocking, all at the same time. The cover makes you think that it’s a horror read, but it is on the tame side. I pictured it being an ‘Are You Afraid Of The Dark’ tale. So, instead of YA, I’d classify it as an older middle grade.

I was captivated write from the beginning. The first chapter was so interesting that I just had to know where the story was going next. All I am saying is – eating books. If that doesn’t intrigue you, then this book probably isn’t for you.

The main character, Jane, has so many layers to her. She was an unreliable narrator, and it made for the most interesting parts of the stories. She is going through a lot, like losing her father, and moving to a new city. All the while, she was discovering hidden secrets about her family.

The book gets progressively better, and the storyline is very fast paced. I loved the writing style, and how the book wasn’t too long. It’s a great pick when you are looking for a quick read to help get you out of a reading slump.

“Three little girls all eating things they weren’t supposed to eat. Three little girls all eating things in order to fill their bodies with something other than the anger, the rage, that would otherwise consume them.”

The mystery aspect was wild and throws you for a loop. At one point, I thought I had everything figured out, but than I end up being wrong. Then by the end of the book I realize I was right all long. The story is a roller coaster ride, and one I was happy to be on. There was a lot of reference to Agatha Christie, which I thought was great. I could see throughout the story how the author might have been inspired by Christie’s work.

This book deals with grief quite a bit. It can also make you regret the things you didn’t do with a loved you’ve lost. If you are sensitive to books featuring the death of a family member, then I would think twice before reading this book. That being said, it isn’t a sad book at all, so keep that in mind as well.

Overall, I am very pleased with this story. It was spooky and engaging. I’m happy that I gave it a read! Let me know your thoughts on the book in the comments below, and please follow my blog to get notifications whenever I post.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Snow In Love // Book Review

Author: Melissa de la Cruz, Aimee Friedman, Nic Stone and Kasie West
Published: 2018
Genre: YA/Holiday

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Synopsis
What’s better than one deliciously cozy, swoon-worthy holiday story? Four of them, from some of today’s bestselling authors. From KASIE WEST, a snowy road trip takes an unexpected detour when secrets and crushes are revealed. From AIMEE FRIEDMAN, a Hanukkah miracle may just happen when a Jewish girl working as a department store elf finds love. From MELISSA DE LA CRUZ, Christmas Eve gets a plot twist when a high school couple exchange surprising presents. From NIC STONE, a scavenger hunt amid the holiday crowds at an airport turns totally romantic.So grab a mug of hot cocoa, snuggle up, and get ready to fall in love.


One thing you might not know about me, is that I love Christmas! I know that is pretty cliché, since most people say that Christmas is their favorite holiday. But, my absolute favorite thing about the season is the movies, books, and music. This book is a collection of short YA contemporary stories set during the holidays.

“Get her a gift. Take it to her. I know that’s more than a casual conversation but it’s less than asking her out. It’s just an ‘I’ve been thinking about you.”

Once I saw that Kasie West was a part of the collection, it was just an automatic read for me. The first story was conveniently written by Kasie West, titled ‘Snow and Mistletoe’. This story gave me classic contemporary feels, which is what this author does best. If follows a girl that joins a group of former classmates on a journey to get home in time for Christmas. I found it simple and cute, but the plot was rather predictable. The romance was obvious, but it was still a heartwarming story.

“There’s a severe shortage of Hanukkah songs.”

Next up we have ‘Working In A Winter Wonderland’ by Aimee Friedman. I have read one other book by this author, and it was years ago. This story follows a girl who takes a job at a fancy department story, in order to earn some extra money for the holiday season. Her long time crush’s father happens to own that department store. This story was not my favorite, and the writing style wasn’t for me. I didn’t care for the characters or the plot. It seems as if the romance was an afterthought, and simply added because most YA contemporaries do feature some sort of romance element.

“It’s Christmas after all.”

The third story was titled ‘The Magi’s Gift’ by Melissa De La Cruz. This is a cute holiday contemporary about wanting to fit in, but learning that being yourself is more important. Also, as you could probably tell from the titles this story is a retelling of ‘The Gift Of The Magi’, which is a classic Christmas tale. It was a solid story, but in my opinion, it felt a little on the younger side of YA.

“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.”

The final story was ‘Grounded’ by Nic Stone. It followed two teenage girls, who used to be friends, and now must reconnect on Christmas Eve while stranded at the airport. This book didn’t focus much on the holiday season, and could have really been set at any time of year. However, it was the most diverse of the stories, since it contained a female/female romance, and characters of color. I do appreciate the diversity, and would like to read more form this author.

Overall, my favorite story was Kasie West’s ‘Snow and Mistletoe’, but that is probably no surprise coming from me. I am still trying to figure out if I enjoy short story collections, but there are a few more that I wouldn’t mind reading. In the comments, let me know your favorite anthology. If you like my book reviews like and share this posts, and follow my blog.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

When You Get The Chance // Book Review

Author: Emma Lord
Published: 2022
Genre: YA/Contemporary
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Synopsis
Nothing will get in the way of Millie Price’s dream of becoming a Broadway star. Not her lovable but super introverted dad, who raised Millie alone since she was a baby or her drama club rival, Oliver, who is the very definition of Simmering Romantic Tension. Millie needs an ally. And when an accidentally left-open browser brings Millie to her dad’s embarrassingly moody LiveJournal from 2003, Millie knows just what to do – find her mum. But how can you find a new part of your life and expect it to fit into your old one without leaving any marks? And why is it that when you go looking for the past, it somehow keeps bringing you back to what you’ve had all along?


This is a ‘Mama Mia’ YA retelling, which wasn’t initially on my radar. But, being a fan of young adult contemporary and the Mama Mia movies I knew that I had to give it a read. Predictably, the plot revolves around our main character, Millie, who sets out to find her mom. However, I found Millie’s mom journey was coming from a place of selfishness. Millie is a Broadway star hopeful, who has been accepted to a fancy performing arts school. Her devoted single dad was less than thrilled about the idea of his teenager daughter leaving home to attend some school. The only reason Millie wanted to find her mom was to get a parent’s approval to attend the school. If that isn’t narcissistic, I don’t know what is. I guess it’s true what they say – it’s easier to ask forgiveness, than to get permission.

Although, I didn’t like Millie’s actions for most of the book, I understood that she was a just a teenager. From experience, I know that teenagers never listen to reason. Also, her father might have been a little quick to say no, and didn’t want to listen to what his daughter wanted. He reminded me a bit of my mother, because she would never go for me leaving home as a teen.

Millie was raised by not only her dad, but her aunt as well. However, I didn’t feel a strong family bond within the book. Sure, they talked about how close they all were, but we didn’t get to see much of the family relationships. I think the main issue that Millie had with her family, which could be another underlying reason for searching for her mother, was her dad and aunt’s inability to tell her anything about her mom. I understand that it was a hard subject, but there comes a time when you have to talk about the hard things. Millie deserved to know who her mother was.

Personally, I figured out who her bio-mom was about halfway though the book. However, it is a contemporary, so authors don’t typically make it hard to figure things out. The romance was an enemies-to-lovers, but I didn’t care for it all too much. I didn’t see the two having a real connection, but it didn’t hinder the story in anyway. There was a very cute side romance that I loved, which did make me enjoy the book a lot more.

“Two performers who know each other’s overblown, ridiculous hearts all too well.”

There were tons of pop culture references throughout the book, which a lot of people might not care for. However, I thought they were great. The book talked about Live Journal; oh the memories that brings back. Also Disney+, Spiderman, Stacy’s Mom, and so much. Millie was even a child internet star, which was a slightly weird addition to the plot, but very relevant in today’s world.

I did like all the potential moms, and understood why her dad fell for each of them. He was an introvert, and they all brought out different sides of him. You could see any one of them being Millie’s mom. Nevertheless, I don’t understand how someone could abandon their child. For me, that child would instantly be a part of my heart. But, I can see how that isn’t the case for everyone.

My opinions on abandonment aside, Millie’s mother wasn’t a villain for leaving her. She had her reasons, and whether one agrees with them or not, we shouldn’t judge anyone for their choices. The book’s message was to focus on what we have, rather than what we don’t, or what we want. The ending was my absolute favorite part, because it was very cute.

Overall, the book was a decent read, but not my favorite. It wouldn’t be the first book I recommend to people looking for a YA contemporary to read. I would have liked to see a gender-bent version of Mama Mia, where a son is looking for his biological mom. Hopefully we will get a story like that in the future. Let me know your thoughts on the book in the comments. And do follow my blog, because it would definitely make my day.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

The Way You Make Me Feel // Book Review

Author: Maurene Goo
Published: 2018
Genre: YA/Contemporary/Romance
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Synopsis
Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the Honeycut, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara imagined. But maybe Rose isn’t so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) on the truck next door is pretty cute. Maybe Clara’s estranged mom deserves a second chance. What if taking these relationships seriously means leaving her old self behind?


Unfortunately for me, this book was a dud. The main character, Clara, wasn’t very likable. She was a prankster, and had a reputations of being a rebel. She wasn’t sneaking out late, or drinking under age, but she did whatever she wanted. Clara was very outspoken, and sometimes I found her to be too honest.

She had a single father and pretty absent mother. A lot of books follow single parents, but the difference with this book was that her parents were teen parents. I don’t find that a lot of books go for that angle. However, the fact that they were teenage parents wasn’t a big plot point. Also, her mother was a ‘social media star’, which I didn’t care for.

The main focus of the plot was Clara having to spend the summer working at her dads food truck with her nemesis, Rose. I actually found Rose to be much more enjoyable to read about. Something that annoyed me was Clara’s attitude about working in the food truck. I understand that she was looking forward to visiting her mom over the summer, and that she’s only a teenager, but she acted like working with Rose would be like going to jail.

However, throughout the book I saw Clara grow and learn. She formed a bond with Rose, and they learned a things from one another. Although, I am not a fan of stories where characters forget about their old friends, I do understand that people grow apart. But I felt like Clara was sort of ditching her old friends, instead of having a real conversation with them about their friendships.

There was a romance aspect, but it seemed rather rushed. I know that not all romances have to be slow burns, but let’s have an actual friendship start to form before a relationship happens. From the moment Clara and Hamlet met, she was kind of obsessed with her. She was jealous when she thought he liked Rose, which is crazy since they weren’t even a thing yet.

“The person who feels no fear in their heart when seeing a freaking clown in the flesh is probably a serial killer!”

I found them to be very clingy to one another, and I didn’t like that Hamlet didn’t respect Clara’s choices. There was a moment he used the ‘boyfriend’ title. She cleared stated she wasn’t ready for that, but did he listen? Nope. Also, who says ‘I love you’ after just a short while of dating? Especially as a teenager.

As for the father and daughter relationship, I found it very refreshing. Not a lot of books focus on the family side of things. It was very real that Clara was used to being the center of her father’s world, and her reaction to that changing was understandable.

There is a food truck competition within the story, but it actually played a pretty small part of the plot. Honestly, the author could have omitted it, and that wouldn’t have bothered me. Something I did enjoy, were the pop culture references throughout the book. They mentioned ‘Supernatural’, and hung out at ‘7/11,’ That, I found slightly weird. Do people do that?

Overall, the ending was predictable and happy. But all in all, the book was kind of forgettable, at least for me. It could be that I didn’t mesh with the writing style, and it felt like a younger YA contemporary. In the comments, let me know if you’ve read this book. And, before you go, please hit that follow button!

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

To Be Read // June 2022

Hi Friends,
I am going to be talking about my June TBR. In May, I had the worst reading slump, mostly, because my mental health was pretty poor for a large proportion of the month. However, I’m hoping that June will be a better month reading wise. Especially, since June is also my birthday month.


Previous TBR: I have been in the mood to read some holiday books, which is a bit odd. However, I love the holidays so I don’t really care. This book was on my November 2021 TBR, and a book I am looking forward to reading.
“The International Bestseller—A feel-good, holiday rom com about identical twins who swap lives twelve days before Christmas—perfect for fans of Christina Lauren’s In a Holidaze and Josie Silver’s One Day in December.”


Sequel: Honestly, I just want to be done with this series. I loved the first book, but the second book really got of my nerves. Still, I do want to see how everything wraps up.
“The final book in Katharine McGee’s epic The Thousandth Floor series. It’s New York City, 2118. In Manhattan’s glamorous thousand-story supertower, millions of people are living scandalous lives. Leda, Watt, Rylin, Avery, and Calliope are all struggling to hide the biggest secrets of all, secrets that could destroy everything, and send their perfect worlds toppling over the edge.”


Owned TBR: This book has been talked about by just about everyone. I am hoping that it is worth the hype.
“An insightful, delightful new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation. One summer. Two rivals. A plot twist they didn’t see coming.”


Those are the books on my TBR, yet I am not sure how well I will do on it. I am really trying to see what my mood wants to do when it comes to reading. Leave me a comment with what you are reading in June. And, follow my blog to get notifications on new posts.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Fool Me Twice // Book Review

Author: Carrie Aarons
Published: 2020
Genre: New Adult/Contemporary
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Synopsis
When my best friend died of cancer just before her eighteenth birthday, she left her coveted bucket list to me. The things she already crossed off? Skinny dipping, going to Paris, completing the local hot wing challenge, road tripping to the ocean, and sending out a message in a bottle. So, it falls on me to finish it for her, to honor her memory. In the next year, it’s my mission to:

1. Dye my hair
2. Have sex
3. Camp out in a tent
4. Go bungee jumping
5. Get revenge on Lincoln Kolb


When I read the synopsis for this book, I figured it would be something that I would enjoy. The plot reminded me of ‘John Tucker Must Die’, which is a great movie. I hadn’t read anything by this author before, and (correct me if I’m wrong) I believe she is an indie author. Being an indie author myself, I always love to support other small time authors.

Going into this book, I assumed it fell into the YA genre, yet I found that the book leaned more towards new adult. This wasn’t a big disappointment, but it came as a shock to me, because I don’t typically read that genre.

I found the overall plot to be enjoyable, but there wasn’t much revenge plotting in the story. I wouldn’t even classify it at hate-to-love. It was more of a girl meets boy and they fall in love story.

However, the main female, Henley, was very conflicted throughout the book, because she was supposed to hate Lincoln for breaking her best friend’s heart. She was a tough and stubborn girl, which is probably why she decided to keep the ridiculous and immature revenge promise. A more mature college student would have just confronted Lincoln about the breakup.

I think the moral is that there are three sides to every story – his, hers, and what actually happened. And revenge is never the solution to your problems. As for Lincoln, he was as a cocky jock who never got attached. But he had a sensitive side that he didn’t let anyone see, too. I have read this type of male character before, and I honestly don’t mind them. Given a choice between Henley and Lincoln, however, I was much more a fan of Lincoln.

“You never know if you’ll be breathing in the next second after this one. Which is why I take every chance those precious seconds give me.”
Something that thoroughly surprised me was the amount of steamy scenes in the book. I wouldn’t classify this as smut, and the sex scenes weren’t that intense at all. But, sex was a big factor in the book. There was a bathroom scene at a party that was a bit spicy. I would probably give this book as 17+ rating.

I didn’t have many cons  from this book, but it seemed to move very slowly. I found myself at the halfway point, and the plot hadn’t progressed much. Nevertheless, the book was a pretty quick read, which made up for the slow-moving story.

Overall, this book was a good time, and made me question whether or not I could handle the truly smutty books. Still, I don’t know if I would pick anything else up from this author. I am unsure if her books and writing style is for me.

Let me know if you have read this book, because I would love to hear your thoughts on it. Please give this post a like and share it with others. In case you didn’t know, you can follow the blog to get notified whenever there’s a new post.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

If This Gets Out // Book Review

Author: Cale Dietrich and Sophie Gonzales
Published: 2021
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
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Synopsis
Eighteen-year-olds Ruben Montez and Zach Knight are two members of the boy-band Saturday, one of the biggest acts in America. Along with their bandmates, Angel Phan and Jon Braxton, the four are teen heartthrobs in front of the cameras and best friends backstage. But privately, the pressure to stay in the closet has Ruben confiding in Zach. On a whirlwind tour through Europe with an unrelenting schedule and minimal supervision, the two come to rely on each other more and more, and their already close friendship evolves into a romance. But when they decide they’re ready to tell their fans and live freely, Zach and Ruben realize they will never truly have the support they need. How can they hold tight to each other when their whole world is coming apart?


If you are looking for a cute, gay YA romance, then look no further. Once I read the synopsis, I was hooked. This is more than a story about first love, but finding your person, and yourself. The whole idea of a boy band and a romance that forms between two of it’s members, Zach and Ruben, sounds like a messy good time. And it definitely was.

The book was cute and heartwarming from the start. I was literally getting butterflies along with Zach and Ruben. Their relationship from friends to lovers did seem a little out of the blue, but as the story progressed, you could see that the feelings were there all along.

This book wasn’t steamy, but when you mix first love and teenage hormones, there is bound to be some spice in the relationship. There was a lot of focus on discovering yourself, and your sexuality. Also, the pressure to put a label on one’s self. Sometimes, all that’s needed are mutual feelings for each other, and the labels naturally become an afterthought. Often, they aren’t necessary at all.

It was interesting to see how the authors described being in the spotlight. Not every celebrity has a choice of how they appear to in the public eye. A lot of times you have to put on façade and play a part. Each of the band members were hiding who they were from their fans. Their management team made them feel as though if they were to truly be themselves they could lose everything. I don’t know if celebrities really have to deal with something like this, but if they do, fame must be pretty lonely at times.

I enjoyed getting to know all the bandmates, Zach, Ruben, Jon, and Angel. They were each every different, but when it came down to it, they were still brothers. The authors made a point to show the influence of drugs and drinking at a young age. Also, how celebrities can fall into unhealthy addictions because of bad influences and easy access to those things. I think most people know that celebrities, like all of us, aren’t a immune to addiction.

“The freedom to be ourselves, and express whatever truest version of ourselves we know of to the world as we see fit, is the most important freedom we have.”

There was the message of never letting fear stand in the way of trying something new. Things might take an unexpected turn, but every so often we find exactly what was missing from our lives. Ruben and Zach worked well as a couple, and they were truly there for each other. Ruben was more confident in his sexuality, and also someone the other band members could lean on.

That being said, Zach was my favorite of the two. I find that he had a lot of character development throughout the book. At the start, he was optimistic, and only wanted to make others happy (despite his wants and desires). It wasn’t until push came to shove that he fought for what he wanted, and broke out of his shell. I found, too, that Jon’s personality was one that I got attached to. I maybe had a mild crush on him. Don’t tell my husband.

In my opinion, Angel was definitely the funniest, but he struggled the most with having to be a fake version of himself. Still, his funny comments helped lighten the mood throughout the book. I appreciated the addition of humor, while still focusing on Ruben and Zach’s budding romance.

I do want to mention, one last time, that this book deals with more than just romance. Drug use, bi-phobia, underage drinking and even emotional abuse are present in this book. But I wouldn’t say that this is a heavy or traumatic read at all. Actually, I believe that the book is pretty underrated. Please leave me your thoughts on the book in the comments below. If you’d like to read more of my book reviews, then follow my blog to get notifications on new posts.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Friday Reads #7

Hi Friends,
Welcome to another ‘Friday Reads’ post! If you haven’t seen one of these posts before than let me give you the rundown. In this post, I will be sharing with you all the books that I hope to read throughout the weekend. So, let’s get started!



“#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * From the bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying comes your next obsession. You’ll never feel the same about family again.”



“From the New York Times bestselling author of Five Total Strangers and “master of suspense” (BCCB), Natalie D. Richards, comes a pulse-pounding YA thriller about a girl who goes on a mysterious scavenger hunt, only to discover that someone knows her worst secret…and is out for blood.”



“This is the story of two teenage cancer survivors on the quest to define life, because if they don’t, they might as well fail their class project entirely.”


I have other books that I would like to start, but I am trying not to be too ambitious. I hope you have a fun reading weekend. Besides reading, my plans include trying to calm my anxiety about upcoming severe weather and possibly watching ‘The Princess Switch’ on Netflix. For more posts like this follow the blog.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

The Ivies // Book Review

Author: Alexa Donne
Published: 2021
Genre: Young Adult/Murder Mystery
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Synopsis
Everyone knows the Ivies: the most coveted universities in the United States. Far more important are the Ivies. The Ivies at Claflin Academy, that is. Five girls with the same mission: to get into the Ivy League by any means necessary. I would know. I’m one of them. We disrupt class ranks, club leaderships, and academic competitions…among other things. We improve our own odds by decreasing the fortunes of others. Because hyper-elite competitive college admissions is serious business. And in some cases, it’s deadly.


I hadn’t heard or seen anyone talk about this book, but the cover intrigued me so I picked it up. The book started off with a bang, with the first chapter captivating my attention. I wanted to see how the story play out. The book was set up as a murder mystery that shows the lengths people will go to ensure they get into a good college.

Although, the beginning was gripping, I found myself getting bored as the story progressed. The mystery element was there and the plot wasn’t bad, but for some reason the story was weak. It might have something to do with the fact that I have never felt the need to go to an Ivy League school. (Well, there was the small desire to follow in Rory Gilmore’s footsteps and attend Yale.) I don’t really think an Ivy League college is the only way to have a good future.

Olivia, our main character, felt like a typical YA protagonist. In my opinion, books that feature an expensive boarding school usually follow the rich and/or elite kids that attend it. However, there is always the one person that doesn’t feel like they belong. Olivia was that girl in this book. She doesn’t feel like she fits in amongst the wealthy.

Olivia’s friend group includes Avery, Emma, Sierra, and Margot, better known as ‘The Ivies’. You could tell that the girls weren’t genuine friends, as they secretly undercut each other at every turn. They didn’t have each other’s backs, and could be just as ruthless to each other as they were to everyone else. I guess there is some truth to the saying “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”.

I did find myself getting annoyed with Olivia at times, because her and her friends did awful things to people. However, Olivia kept making excuses for their actions. She might have not known about all the things her friends had done, but her hands were far from clean. She was naive, sure, but that’s hardly an excuse. I never really felt like she owned up to any of her wrong doings. And, somehow still turned out to be the victim.

Avery was clearly made out to be a Regina George type character. She carefully picked her friends; going so far as to select their Ivy League colleges for them. However, she wasn’t this mean girl that was obsessed with getting into Harvard. Well, she wasn’t only that girl. There was a softer side to her as well.

“We improve our own odds by slightly decreasing the fortunes of others.”

As for the rest of the group, they weren’t very fleshed out. We only got to know a little bit about each of them. Emma was probably the one we learned the most about, since she was murdered. We got a small glimpse at who Sierra was. As for Margot, the author didn’t really give any information on her. All we learned was that she didn’t care for Olivia. She didn’t think she fit in with their friend group, and was outright a bad friend to her.

Also, there was a side romance plot that, I guess, was cute. But, I didn’t care for it. I felt like there really didn’t need to be a romance in the story. Maybe I would have felt differently if Olivia was already in a relationship, but I’m not sure. I do, however, think that the outcome of relationship was surprising, and was the best twist in the book.

As for the murder aspect, the killer’s motive was somewhat weak, yet still relatable. I could actually see somebody killing for this reason. The story showed that having a high social status and money, doesn’t make you entitled to anything. Money can’t by dignity, or make you a decent person. The amount of energy these kids put into getting into college seemed exhausting. In the end, the teenagers in the book made getting into a fancy college seem like a ‘kill or be killed’ situation.

I had a lot of theories on how the book would play out, and some of my guesses were right. However, most of the time, I was dead wrong. This book had the potential to be on the level of Karen M. McManus’ books, but it lacked her amazing writing style and thrilling plot. The author has talent, but just didn’t hit this book out of the park.

A small thing that bugged me, but probably isn’t a big deal to most people, was the focus on Harvard. The book mentioned a few other big name schools, but getting in to Harvard played a major role in the story. Why does it always have to be Harvard? Is it too much to ask that we have a little more outside the box thinking? Okay, rant over.

I do want to mention that Alexa Donne happens to be an authortuber. This wasn’t something that I was aware of until after I read the book, but she has some great author content on her channel. If you want to get to know the author behind this book, then I recommend you check out her channel.

I hope that you enjoyed reading my thoughts on this book. It was an interesting read, yet not a book I would pick up again. Let me know in the comments below your thoughts on this book. If you like bookish content, then follow the blog before you go.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny